Glan y Pwll
|Glan y Pwll|
The yard seen in 2007
Former loco shed, now engineering depot
Junction to carriage sheds|
Engineering depot mothballed
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There was originally a locomotive depot here. That site is now an engineering depot. Additionally the line of the old branch has been used to access a new carriage shed built as an expansion to the depot.
The loop line (orange on map) of the old Dinas Junction built in 1880 connected with the line to Duffws near Glan y Pwll.
The second junction here opened in 1899 and replaced the old Dinas Junction on the other side of the Barlwyd Bridge. The junction was moved because the new alignment of the branch (orange on map)) was further out from the quarries to avoid planned slate waste tipping by Oakley Quarries. The loop line was not replaced.
An engine shed, complete with turntable, was sited here in the Y between the Dinas branch and the Duffws mainline. England engines were turned for the down journey here. This shed replaced the one that was part of Dinas Station.
The railway crossed the old road from Rhiwbryfdir to Tanygrisiau here at a fully gated level crossing. The formation was double track from here onward to Duffws and fully signalled with McKenzie & Holland semaphores. The two lines were operated as a passenger single line and mineral single line rather than the usual up and down lines.
There were staff instruments here for the single lines. Prior to 1899 they were in the crossing keepers house/barracks. After the opening of the junction in 1899 they moved to a new signal box on the clock side of the line between the level crossing and the old footbridge to the school. This location had views towards Stesion Fein and back down the line across the level crossing. This signal box had 19 levers with one spare. According to Boyd, this box closed in September 1924. There is a cryptic set of correspondence contained within XD97/19495 that indicates this signal box was still open in September 1925.
In preparation for the re-opening to Blaenau Ffestiniog, Glan y Pwll was used as a base for the rebuilding of the line north of Tanygrisiau. This started as early as August 1973 with clearing the Old Loco Shed, and securing the compound. Almost all the early work was done by volunteers from the London Area Group. Once the shed was made secure the loco Diana was shedded there and a start was made on putting the track into a good enough state for PW trains. This work was under the supervision of Ron Lester who was in charge of New Works PW. The old track had been lifted and new rails and sleepers but no ballast had been laid from the Dolrhedyn Road Bridge gap to Barlwyd Bridge by 1975. During the period up to 1982 the depot was used as a base for the walling repairs, replacement footbridge construction and fencing etc. which was required to ready the line for reopening.
The shed was extended and fitted out as a workshop, and became the base of Andy Puttnam's Civil Engineer's department. It then became part of Boston Lodge and was used for wagon maintenance. Upon Puttnam's death, the workshops were mothballed, apart from occasional use by S&T and a skip wagon repair gang.
The old Crossing House "barracks" used as a hostel for some time. The crossing house and engine shed are the only FR owned pre-1946 buildings in Blaenau.
The level crossing has been converted to automatic (AOCL) operation with warning lights for traffic. Only one track has been relaid to Blaenau Ffestiniog. However the formation is wide enough for two and the rails for the second line are in place over the level crossing, though disconnected, as part of the never carried out scheme to build a line to the tourist attractions at Llechwedd Quarry.
In 1997, facilities were extended by the construction of a large carriage shed for winter and overnight storage. To provide access to it the 1899 Dinas branch was relaid as far as the first river bridge (which has been removed).
A wagon is pushed over the newly completed siding into a new compound at Glan-y-pwll. The person in the light brown sweater with a hole in it is Ron Lester
Looking south from Gloddfa Ganol tip on a very hot August Bank Holiday Sunday 2001. The Colonel hauls a rake of MoD flat waggons out from Glanypwll carriage shed. Moel Hebog waits on "6 road", the 1899 Dinas deviaton, relaid to the abutments of the Afon Barlwyd bridge (missing!), with the Afon Barlwyd deviation alongside. On the left the LNWR Blaenau branch curves to Stesion Fein. The Duffws "main line" passes behind the re-roofed and enlarged engine shed. There is now a run-round loop at the end of 6-road. Previous methods of running around used The Colonel to shunt release, or even traditional chain shunting.